Just got back from my PMV to STJ/STT
**This is really long and I'm sorry! I tried to condense it but this was the best I could do!**
I just did my most recent PMV last week. Since I have been to STJ before, I was just kind of updating from my last PMV, which was about 2 yrs ago or so. This was a short trip, cut even shorter by airline delays, so I had a lot to do in a short amount of time. I got everything accomplished I wanted to except for going to church. All along, I have been planning to move to STJ. The vibe on STJ suits me well and I feel very at home there. However, there is now the very real possibility that I will wind up on STT due to an amazing opportunity that is very tempting. So needless to say, I have A LOT to think about over the next several weeks.
Originally I was suppose to fly down on Saturday, but my flight was severely delayed and I was going to miss my connection so I had to fly down on Sunday instead. No worries, I’ll just roll with it. After the plane landed, as I was walking down the steps from the plane I felt like the warm weather and sunshine were giving me a big “welcome home” hug. Coming from 14* weather, this was a wonderful feeling. I only had carry-on so I immediately grabbed a taxi to Red Hook to catch the ferry to St John.
Because it was such a short trip, I opted to stay at one of the small hotels in Cruz Bay instead of renting a villa. I wanted to be within walking distance of town so I could get a feel for how that would be in case I decide not to have a vehicle right away. The last time I was on STJ I rented a jeep, drove all over the island, and explored extensively. I also knew I wanted to eat most of my meals out simply to be able to talk with the bartenders and servers. They have a wealth of knowledge about what’s going on and opportunities for jobs/housing that may not be advertised.
Even though I ate most of my meals out, I did go check out the grocery stores for availability of products and pricing. I was quite excited to see that Dolphin Market had some of the more obscure items that I use that are hard to find back home. Currently I do most of my shopping at Wegman’s and even they don’t carry some of these items. The pricing was pretty comparable to what I pay stateside for them. I also checked out random things like Connections in Cruz Bay, the post office, laundromats, etc. that I may need after making the move.
As I walked around, almost everyone said Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Day as we passed each other. A few even struck up conversation with me for a few minutes. This sometimes caught me off guard because I wasn’t sure at first if they were talking to me or not. In the evenings I made my rounds to different bars and struck up conversation with many different people. I went to a variety of places including the typical touristy places as well as the less crowded places. Everyone was super friendly, nice, and very down to earth. I did notice a small amount of hesitation when they realized I wasn’t a resident yet. It was more of that “we’ve heard this before and we’ll see if you really follow through with your move.” So I just kind of made a joke of it and explained that I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years now and things are finally lined up to make it happen this year. Everything seemed cool after that. I only came across one person who was a bit discouraging when I mentioned I was planning to make the move. Island life proved not to be for her and she admitted that was the case. Her main focus for discouragement was because I am single and that I “would NEVER meet anyone living here”. Well I guess it’s a good thing that “meeting Mr. Right” is not my main goal in life. Sure it would be nice but I've done just fine by myself so far.
Since I went down by myself this time, and crime is a hot topic on this board, I was curious about how safe I would feel. I have to say that I felt very safe in STJ. Most nights I was out until at least midnight and walked back to my hotel by myself. I would also get up early and walk to the little park by the ferry dock to watch the sunrise. There were only 2 times that I felt a bit uncomfortable but I never felt unsafe. The first was when I walking on a trail back from the beach and heard what I thought was a gunshot. It was mid afternoon, I could see some boats through the trees, and I didn’t hear any screams before or after so I just reached the conclusion that it was probably a boat engine backfiring and continued on my way. I definitely stayed alert of my surroundings though. The other time was in the early evening (still daylight out) as I was walking to a restaurant for dinner. Outside one of the bars there were 2 drunk guys chatting and smoking cigarettes. As I passed by one of them made an extremely vulgar comment to me. I’m pretty sure they were both tourists (which does NOT excuse their behavior at all) but I just ignored them and continued on my way. Honestly, I’ve dealt with WAY worse so I just laughed off his comment. Overall, I followed the same safety precautions I would if I were at home.
The lizards however kept me on my toes because I would hear them rustling in the bushes or they would dart out in front of me as I walked. Thankfully I didn’t see any tarantulas this time around. The chickens cracked me up because they were everywhere. The roosters were cock-a-doodle-doo-ing all hours of the night. This didn’t bother me at all. It reminded me of my childhood because one of my neighbors growing up had crazy chickens and roosters who had no idea what time of day it was. So I was very use to hearing them all hours of the night and day. I lucked out and didn’t get hardly any mosquito bites but the no see-ums loved my right leg!
As for the time I spent on STT, it too is a great island. I’m not going to go into much detail about what all I did while I was on STT because a lot of my time was spent exploring some very tempting opportunities. I had a great tour guide showing me where a lot of different things I would need were on island. Afterwards I spent some time by myself just walking around town and taking a Safari to see what was along the Safari route. I definitely could have used some more time exploring on STT but I will do that if I decide to take the opportunities presented.
I must say I was lucky enough not to experience any power outages while on either island. If the power did go out, I didn't notice.
On my way home, I wound up stuck in Miami due to flight cancellations because of the bad weather back home. I love the glitz and glam of Miami and South Beach. The weather was great but it definitely was not STJ. I flew home in the middle of a snow storm. That was a frightening experience! A day later I had to go to NYC for work for the weekend. NYC is my favorite big city to visit but the taxi drivers there are insane! I’d take a crazy safari driver over a NYC taxi any day. After a whirlwind 10 days of crazy travels, I am so ready to call the VI my home.
For the board members (or anyone who is reading this) that I met while I was on island, THANK YOU for all of your help and insight. I very much appreciated it! For the newbies to the board, please don’t get completely discouraged or frustrated by what you read on the board. Take a step back and have an open mind. These people are kind enough to share their experiences of living in the VI and they are just trying to help. There really is a TON of great info on here and the search option is a very valuable tool to finding answers. My advice would be to go and experience which ever island(s) you are interested in and make the decision for yourself, not let the board decide for you.
Thanks for taking the time to read about my PMV experience. Have a fantastic day!
Who was your tour guide? Was it a licensed taxi driver? How many days did you use the guide?
My tour guide was not a taxi driver of any kind, just an all around great person who was helping me explore an opportunity. I was only on STT one day and this person assisted me in the morning with what I needed to do. On the way to where I needed to go this person pointed out where many things were located on the island. After we parted ways, I explored a bit on my own as well before heading back to STJ.
Great summary, crazyflamingo! Thanks for taking the time to share it all.
I was quite excited to see that Dolphin Market had some of the more obscure items that I use that are hard to find back home. Currently I do most of my shopping at Wegman’s and even they don’t carry some of these items. The pricing was pretty comparable to what I pay stateside for them.
Yes, it's sometimes amazing what you can find here. That said, you do have to watch pricing carefully. There are $21 boxes of cous cous and $19 jars of organic peanut butter on those shelves also, right next to the sanely priced items. And always check expiration dates carefully.
Of course, I've just come from a shopping trip where none of the markets had eggs. So, there's that sometimes still.
Keep us posted and good luck with your move!
Congrats! I will be making my move in june my lease starts june 15th! Time is going so slow now haha. I will be living in red hook area very close to ferry docks i plan on spending quite a bit of time in st john. I am planning on talking to the owners of st johns brewers about possibly helping them out with anything since i have worked at a brewery before. Also going to the university ,but anyway i dont know if you mentioned when you are moving but we will both probably be newbies around the same time so feel free to hit me up if youd ever feel like chatting or anything best of luck to you!
There's supposed to be a new distillery opening on St Thomas either later this year or early next. You may have skills they can use. The announcement was made last month and distillery is to be in Crown Bay. Hopefully you can find the info on Google.
Where and when was this announcement made? Since you first mentioned it on another forum I've asked several people but nobody has heard of it and nothing comes up on an internet search.
[Where and when was this announcement made? Since you first mentioned it on another forum I've asked several people but nobody has heard of it and nothing comes up on an internet search.
Boutique rum distiller to open in former Navy warehouse: